Section 33.021 of the Texas Penal Code defines the online solicitation of a minor. This crime occurs if an adult and a child who is under 17 engage in any of the following activities:
- Share sexually explicit content with each other via the Internet
- Exchange sexually explicit messages online
- Arrange to meet for sexual activity
Some exceptions are made if the alleged perpetrator is married to the minor, or if the minor is less than four years younger than the adult and consented to the behavior.
Punished as a Felony
The online solicitation of a minor is classified as either a state jail felony or a felony of the third-degree. It is tried as a state jail felony if inappropriate messages or contents were exchanged. It may be tried as a third-degree felony if the minor is less than 14 years of age, or if the purpose of the behavior was to initiate a sexual encounter. Here are a few of the sanctions that may be imposed for those who are guilty of this crime:
- 180 days to 10 years in confinement
- Community supervision
- Mandatory registration as a sex offender
Get help from an online solicitation lawyer. Call Gary Miller at 713-866-6233.
How a Case is Prosecuted
Online solicitation charges come about after a lengthy investigation by authorities. This often involves sting operations whereby a detective poses as a minor in order to gain sufficient evidence for an arrest warrant. After a warrant has been issued, an offender’s personal assets, including cell phones and computers, are seized by law enforcement and then scoured for forensic evidence.
It can be very difficult to defend against online solicitation charges since there are few valid defenses for this crime. A defendant can still be charged with the online solicitation of a minor even if he or she has a change of heart and decides to not meet for the scheduled encounter.
Contact an Online Solicitation of a Minor Attorney
You must act hastily if you have been accused of soliciting a minor online. Contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer today, and he will make sure that you do not fall prey to entrapment. Any evidence that is used against you must not have been obtained illegally.
Attorney Gary Miller is often called on to take tough cases because of his reputation as a fearless and competent criminal defense lawyer. He refuses to be intimidated by the state of Texas because he is a former Harris County prosecutor.
If you are facing sex crime charges, call the Miller Law Group, PLLC at 713-866-6233 and get a complimentary legal consultation.